This Week’s Birthdays (May 5 – 11)

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The Simon Sisters (l. to r., Lucy, Carly, Joanna)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 05
1901 ● Blind Willie McTell / (William Samuel McTier) → Piedmont blues slide guitarist and ragtime singer of the 40s and 50s, wrote the oft-covered “Statesboro Blues” (1928) and influenced numerous 60s folk revival musicians including Bob Dylan, died from a stroke on 8/19/1959, age 58
1928 ● Marshall Grant → Bassist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), served as road manager Cash‘s larger touring company until 1980 when they had a falling out and subsequent legal dispute, reconciled and rejoined Cash in 1999, died from natural causes on 8/7/2011, age 83
1934 ● Ace Cannon / (John Cannon) → Pop-rock saxophonist with a dozen charting singles, including the self-penned debut hit “Tuff” (#17, 1962) and several instrumental covers of other, then-current hits
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor / (Johnnie Harrison Taylor) → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died after a heart attack on 5/31/2000, age 63
1937 ● Delia Derbyshire → Early pioneer and composer of electric music and electroacoustic “musique concrète,” best known for creating the electronic sounds on the theme music to the Doctor Who TV program, died from renal failure on 7/3/2001, age 64
1938 ● Roni Stoneman / (Veronica Loretta Stoneman) → The “First Lady of Banjo,” virtuoso banjo player, member of The Stoneman Family Band in the 50s and 60s, first woman to play modern bluegrass banjo on a phonograph record (1957), and cast member of the long-running country music variety TV show Hee Haw from 1973 until 1991, published a memoir, Pressing On: The Roni Stoneman Story, about overcoming poverty and abusive husbands, continued to perform into the 20s at bluegrass festivals and state fairs, often with her mandolinist sister Donna, died from undisclosed causes on 2/22/2024, age 85.
1940 ● Lucy Simon / (Lucy Elizabeth Simon) → Folk-pop singer and Broadway music composer, started her career in the New York folk revival scene of the 60s in a duo with younger sister Carly as the Simon Sisters and the minor hit “Winkin’, Blinkin’ And Nod” (#73, CAN #20, 1964), later released two solo albums and won Grammy Awards as co-producer of two albums, In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record and In Harmony 2 featuring sister Carly, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and others singing children’s music, nominated for a Tony Award in 1991 as composer of the score for Broadway show The Secret Garden, died from metastatic breast cancer on 10/20/2022, age 82, one day after her older sister Joanna died of thyroid cancer.
1942 ● Jim King / (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1942 ● Georgia Dobbins / (Georgia Dobbins Davis) → Founding member and original lead singer for teenage R&B girl group The Marvelettes, reworked an obscure blues song for use in a Motown Records audition for the fledging group (then known as the Marvels), after additional flourishes by several other writers, the song became “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961), the group’s signature song and the first Motown single to reach Number 1 on the Billboard pop chart, thus launching the label’s hugely successful run in the 60s, left the group after the audition to obey her father’s demand that she stay out the music industry, spent the remainder of her life playing down her contribution to pop culture until outed by the writer of a 2005 Marvelettes retrospective theater play, died from cardiac arrest on 9/18/2020, age 78.
1948 ● Bill Ward → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1956 ● Marva Hicks / (Marva Denise Hicks Taha) → Gospel then R&B-pop singer, stage, screen and TV actress, debuted on Broadway in the jazz and pop musical Lena Horne: The Lady And Her Music (1981), moved to L.A. and later toured with Steve Winwood, released a lone solo album and the single “Never Been In Love Before” (R&B #7, 1991), performed with Michael Jackson on his HiStory world tour in 1996, returned to New York City and Broadway with roles in The Lion King (1997), Motown: The Musical (2013) and others, played various characters on TV shows L.A. Law, Star Trek: Voyager, One Life To Live, among others over 25 years, died at home while asleep on 9/16/2022, age 66.
1959 ● Ian McCulloch → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele / (Adele Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan / (Brooke Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam / (Skye Alexandra Sweetnam) → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
1989 ● Chris Brown → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade

May 06
1930 ● Leon Hughes → R&B tenor vocalist and founding member of three 50s R&B/doo wop groups, the Lamplighters (1952-1953), the Hollywood Flames (“Buzz-Buzz-Buzz,” #11, R&B #8, 1956), and the original line-up of The Coasters (“Down In Mexico,” R&B #8, 1956), left before The Coasters’ big hits in the late 50s and collaborated with several R&B vocal groups in the 60s and 70s, later fronted his own version of The Coasters on the oldies circuit and mentored young musicians, last surviving member of the original Coasters at his death at home from natural causes on 3/01/2023, age 92.
1939 ● Herbie Cox → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Cleftones, “Heart And Soul” (#18, R&B #10, 1961)
1942 ● Colin Earl → Pianist for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), briefly played with Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), with Mungo Jerry bandmate Paul King formed the King Earl Band, brother of Foghat drummer Roger Earl
1943 ● Mike Ratledge → Founding member and keyboardist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left in 1976 to pursue a solo career, wrote several film scores, composed and produced music for commercials and theater productions
1943 ● Sandra Tilley → Vocals for Motown pop girl group The Velvettes, left to join The Orlons and Martha & The Vandellas in 1969, “Bless You” (#53, R&B #29, 1971), died of a brain aneurysm on 9/9/1981, age 38
1945 ● Bob Seger / (Robert Clark Seger) → Roots rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and frontman for Bob Seger System and The Last Heard in the 60s, formed the Silver Bullet Band in the 70s and achieved national recognition with his breakout album Night Moves (#8, 1976) and its title track (#4, 1976), the first of 14 Top 20 hits through 1987, including his last, “Shakedown” (#1, 1987) from the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1986), continues to tour and record into the 10s.
1945 ● Jimmie Dale Gilmore → Founding member, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for renowned but underrated Texan alt country-rock The Flatlanders, solo
1948 ● Mary MacGregor → Pop singer/songwriter, “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1976)
1950 ● Robbie McIntosh → Scottish drummer with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, then founding member of blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), died from a heroin overdose on 9/23/1974, age 24
1951 ● Davey Johnstone / (David William Logan Johnstone) → Scottish guitarist in folk-prog rock Magna Carta from 1970-1971, then joined The Elton John Band and has performed on dozens of albums and in over 2,000 live shows with EJ, currently serves as music director for the band
1960 ● John Flansburgh → Guitar and vocals for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Larry Steinbachel → Guitar and vocals for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1964 ● Tony Scalzo → Bass and vocals for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1966 ● David Narcizo → Drummer for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1967 ● Mark Bryan → Guitarist for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995)
1968 ● Tony Wright → Vocals and guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1971 ● Chris Shiflett → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1971 ● Sarah Blackwood → Vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)

May 07
1923 ● Jim Lowe / (James Elsworth Lowe) → Country-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in the mid-50s among seven total Billboard 100 charting songs, including “The Green Door” (#1, R&B #5, 1956), then became a beloved and respected New York City radio personality for over 50 years at WNEW-AM and WNBC-AM and nationally, retired in 1977 and died from natural causes on 12/12/2016, age 93
1931 ● Teresa Brewer / (Teresa Breuer) → Novelty pop singer with hundreds of 50s recordings, including “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others, died from progressive supranuclear palsy on 10/17/2007, age 76
1931 ● Jerry Chesnut / (Jerry Donald Chesnut) → Nashville-based country music songwriter with a deep oeuvre of songs recorded by many dozens of others, including George Jones (“If Not For You,” Country #6, 1969), Elvis Presley (“T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” #35, Country #11, 1975), Elvis Costello (“Good Year For The Roses,” UK #6, 1981), Loretta Lynn, Del Reeves and many others, retired from songwriting in 1980 and died from respiratory failure on 12/15/2018, age 87.
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997, age 65
1939 ● Johnny Maestro / (John Mastrangelo) → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969), died of cancer on 3/24/2010, age 70
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The TemptationsDavid Ruffin, died in a Las Vegas intensive care unit on 11/17/2014, age 75
1940 ● JC Connors / (Jim “JC” Connors) → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987, age 46
1942 ● Lorrie Collins / (Lawrencine May Collins) → Brassy rockabilly singer and guitarist, one of the first female rock ‘n’ roll singers, with her younger brother, Larry, one half of the teen rockabilly duo The Collins Kids, their flashy Western wear and stage antics were well-suited to early TV variety shows in the 50s and earned them a spot on Tex Ritter‘s weekly Town Hall Party, in the late 50s briefly dated teen idol Ricky Nelson and twice appeared with him on his parents’ sitcom The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet (1958), recorded multiple rockabilly and country-pop songs that did not chart but are nonetheless appreciated by enthusiasts and still available, reunited in 1992 and performed with Larry at rockabilly festivals until her death from complications of a fall on 8/4/2018, age 76
1943 ● Rick Westfield → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West / (Richard Westwood) → Original member, guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock quintet The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), left the band in 2012 after more than 50 years
1943 ● Thelma Houston → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1945 ● Cornelius Bumpus → Woodwind and keyboard player, played saxophone for Bobby Freeman in the 60s and Moby Grape in the 70s, joined The Doobie Brothers (“What A Fool Believes,” #1, 1979) for the late 70s and 80s and Steely Dan (“Cousin Dupree,” #30, 2000) from 1993 to 2004, died from a heart attack aboard a flight from New York to Los Angeles on 2/3/2004, age 58
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Ray Monette → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff → Singer and songwriter for AM Pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, UK #18, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971).
1946 ● Jerry Nolan → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992, age 45
1948 ● Pete Wingfield → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith / (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Prairie Prince / (Charles L’Empereur Prince) → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1951 ● Bernie Marsden / (Bernard John Marsden) → English guitarist and member of hard rock Whitesnake from 1978 to 1982, co-wrote with bandmate David Coverdale numerous songs, including the hits “Fool For Your Loving” (#53, UK #13, 1980) and “Here I Go Again” (#1, UK #9, 1987), issued two solo albums while with Whitesnake and another 21 after leaving the band, including Kings (2021), a tribute to Albert King, Freddie King and B.B. King, gigged and recorded with multiple other artists on dozens of albums and in various bands over the years, died from bacterial meningitis on 8/24/2023, age 72.
1955 ● Steve Diggle → Guitarist and vocalist with punk rock Buzzcocks, wrote numerous songs for the band, including “Harmony In My Head” (UK #32, 1979), formed post-punk Flag Of Convenience in 1982 and appeared in the film Vinyl as himself in 2013
1956 ● Anne Dudley / (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson / (Marty Willson-Piper) → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye / (Eagle-Eye Cherry) → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1974 ● Lynden David Hall → Award-winning, up-and-coming singer, songwriter and producer in the Brit neo-soul movement of the 90s with six UK Top 50 singles, including his debut “Sexy Cinderella” (UK #45, 1997), died from complications of a stem cell transplant he received to combat lymphoma on 2/14/2006, age 31
1986 ● Matt Helders → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

May 08
1911 ● Robert Johnson → Highly-influential, legendary and oft-covered blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cross Road Blues” (1937), his songs were performed by many artists and groups, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream (“Crossroads”, 1968), Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones (“Love In Vain”, 1969), died from unknown causes on 8/16/1938, age 27.
1940 ● Ricky Nelson / (Eric Hillard Nelson) → TV actor and rockabilly/country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, played himself alongside his brother and parents on their 50s radio and TV show The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, became the first to be coined a “teen idol” early in a long and successful recording career started in 1957, scored nineteen Top 10 singles, including “Travelin’ Man” (#1, 1961) and “Garden Party” (#6, AC #1, 1972), died when his tour plane crashed on New Year’s Eve, 12/31/1985, age 45.
1941 ● John Fred / (John Fred Gourier) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for one hit wonder novelty pop-rock John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” (#1, 1968), died after a long battle with kidney disease on 4/15/2005, age 63
1942 ● Jack Blanchard → With wife Misty Morgan, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s.
1943 ● Jon Mark / (John Michael Burchell) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist, mid-60s music arranger for neophyte Marianne Faithfull, founding member of influential but short-lived Brit pop-rock Sweet Thursday, played in John Mayall‘s post-Bluesbreakers band before splitting off with bandmate and flautist/saxophonist Johnny Almond to form prog rock/jazz-pop Mark-Almond and release four acclaimed albums in the 70s and early 80s, moved to New Zealand in the late 80s and focused on Celtic, ambient and new age sounds, won a Grammy in 2004 for an album of Tibetan monk chants, died from undisclosed causes on 2/10/2021, age 77.
1943 ● Paul Samwell / (Paul Samwell-Smith) → Bassist for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left in the late 60s and became a producer for Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and others
1943 ● Toni Tennille / (Cathryn Antoinette Tennille) → Singer with husband Daryl Dragon in Grammy-winning pop duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975)
1943 ● Danny Whitten → Singer, guitarist and frequent songwriter, member of Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse, wrote “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” (covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl), Young‘s “The Needle and the Damage Done” (1972) is about Whitten’s heroin abuse, from which he died of an overdose on 11/18/1972, age 29
1944 ● Bill Legend / (William Fifield) → Drummer for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971)
1944 ● Gary Glitter / (Paul Francis Gadd) → Brit glam-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known in US for “Rock & Roll, Pt. 2” (#7, 1972), had 17 UK Top 40 singles, convicted of child pornography in England in 1999
1945 ● Keith Jarrett → Jazz and classical pianist and composer, played with Miles Davis and Art Blakely, fronted several of his own bands
1946 ● Charles McCormick / (Charles E. McCormick) → Founding member, songwriter and bass guitarist for high school doo wop group The Sinceres, which morphed into 70s-80s R&B/soul-funk Bloodstone and eight R&B Topo 20 hits, including “Natural High” (#10, R&B #4, 1973), wrote all of the music and co-starred in the film Train Ride To Hollywood (1975), performed as Bloodstone over the decades despite a dwindling number of original bandmates, died from undisclosed causes on 4/22/2022, age 75.
1951 ● Chris Frantz → Drummer for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), co-founder Tom Tom Club (with wife/bassist Tina Weymouth)
1951 ● Philip Bailey → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), solo, including duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover” (#2, 1990)
1953 ● Alex Van Halen → Drummer for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), brother of Eddie, now a clean-and-sober ordained minister
1953 ● Billy Burnette → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist in sessions and tours, solo “Don’t Say Know” (#68, 1980), joined Fleetwood Mac in 1985 and left in 1995, still sessions, tours and occasional solo works
1955 ● Henry Priestman → Founding member, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave power pop The Yachts, “Suffice To Say” (1977), then blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988) and alt rock It’s Immaterial
1964 ● Dave Rowntree → Drummer for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994)
1972 ● Darren Hayes → Vocalist and one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), solo, “Insatiable” (#77, UK #8, 2002)
1975 ● Enrique Iglesias → Latin pop megastar singer, “Be With You” (#1, 2000), son of Julio
1976 ● H / (Ian Watkins) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Martha Wainwright → Canadian/American folk-rock singer/songwriter, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of Rufus Wainwright, backing vocals on recordings by her family members, released full length eponymous debut in 2006
1977 ● Joe Bonamassa → Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, at age 14 formed Bloodline with Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger‘s son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis‘ son) and Berry Oakley, Jr. (Allman Brothers bassist’s son) for one album, then solo career with 12 Top 10 Blues albums, some featuring guest spots by Eric Clapton, B. B. King and others, currently in Black Rock Communion
1978 ● Ana Maria Lombo → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1985 ● Matt Jay / (Matthew James Willis) → Singer/songwriter and founding member of Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003), solo, “Up All Night” (UK #7, 2006)

May 09
1914 ● Hank Snow / (Clarence Eugene Snow) → Canadian-born country singer, “The Singing Ranger”, released over 100 albums and had 35 Country Top 40 singles between 1955 and 1980, including “Ninety Miles An Hour (Down A Dead-End Street)” (Country #2, 1963), died from heart failure on 12/20/1999, age 86
1935 ● Nokie Edwards / (Nole Floyd Edwards) → Founding member and first bassist for seminal surf rock instrumental combo The Ventures (“Walk – Don’t Run,” #2, 1960 and remake “Walk – Don’t Run ’64,” #8, 1964), switched to lead guitar and perfected the twangy,, staccato riffs that characterized the surf rock genre in the mid-60s, left the band in the 80s but continued to perform and record with his own bands – including occasional gigs with reconstituted versions of The Ventures – until his death from complications of hip reconstruction surgery on 3/12/2018, age 82
1937 ● David Prater / (David Prater, Jr.) → One half of top R&B/soul duo Sam & Dave, “Soul Man” (#2, 1967), died in a single-car accident on 4/9/1988, age 50
1937 ● Sonny Curtis → Songwriter and teenage friend of Buddy Holly and sometime member of Holly‘s The Crickets, wrote songs for The Everly Brothers and Anne Murray before joining The Crickets full-time following Holly‘s death in 1959, penned “I Fought The Law” for them and The Bobby Fuller Four (#9, 1966), later wrote the theme song for TV sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “Love Is All Around” (Country #29, 1980), in the 80s and 90s penned TV and radio commercial jingles for McDonald’s, Honda, Olympia Beer, Bell Telephone and Mattel Toys, among others, continues to write and record into the 10s.
1940 ● John Hawken → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1941 ● Peter Birrell → Bassist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), became a taxi driver and sometime bit-part TV actor
1941 ● Danny Rapp / (Daniel Earl Rapp) → Frontman and singer for early rock ‘n’ rollers Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (#1, 1958), committed suicide on 4/5/1983, age 41
1942 ● Tommy Roe / (Thomas David Roe) → Rockabilly singer and songwriter turned archetypal bubblegum popster with “Sheila” (#1, UK #3, 1962) and “Dizzy” (#1, UK #1,1969)and four other Top 10 hits in between, shifted to a more country-oriented sound in the 70s but kept one foot in bubblegum pop while touring on the oldies circuit for many years before retiring in 2018.
1942 ● Mike Millward → Rhythm guitar for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), died from complications of leukemia on 3/7/1966, age 23
1943 ● Bruce Milner → Piano and organ for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1944 ● Don Dannemann → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for two hit wonder folk-pop The Cyrkle, “Red Rubber Ball” (#2, 1966) and “Turn Down Day” (#16, 1966), signed by Brian Epstein and supported The Beatles on their 1966 US tour, became a successful commercial “jingle” writer, including the “Uncola” song for 7Up
1944 ● Richie Furay / (Paul Richard Furay) → Guitar and vocals, founding member of folk-rock Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and country-rock Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970), left in 1974 to co-found country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band with Chris Hillman of The Byrds and J. D. Souther (“Fallin’ In Love”, #27, 1974), solo bandleader, became a Christian minister, reunited with Buffalo Springfield in 2010
1945 ● Steve Katz → Guitarist and vocalist, founding member of jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “The Flute Thing” (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), producer
1946 ● Clint Holmes → One hit wonder novelty pop singer, “Playground In My Mind” (#2, 1973), briefly a TV personality with Joan Rivers’ The Late Show and on Entertainment Tonight, performed in Las Vegas and Atlantic City night clubs since the 70s
1949 ● Billy Joel → Superstar pop-rock singer/songwriter and keyboardist with 17 US #1 albums and 35 Top 40 singles, including “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” (#1, 1980)
1950 ● Tom Petersson → Bass and vocals for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1953 ● John Edwards → Bassist since 1986 for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 58 UK Top 40 singles including “Come On You Reds” (UK #1, 1994)
1960 ● Marc Duncan → Bassist for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1962 ● David Gahan → Lead vocals for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), went solo after 22 years, “Kingdom” (Dance/Pop #1, 2007)
1962 ● P.D. Heaton / (Paul Heaton) → Vocals for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), then alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990), solo
1969 ● Peter Wilkinson → Co-founder, backing vocals and bass guitar for 90s alt rock Brit-pop Cast, “Flying” (UK #4, 1996), left in 2002 for sessions work, rejoined Cast in 2010
1971 ● Guigsy McGuigan / (Paul McGuigan) → Bassist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1975 ● Nik Vikedal / (Ryan Vikedal) → Drummer for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001), left the band in 1995
1979 ● Pierre Bouvier → Lead singer for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)

May 10
1888 ● Max Steiner / (Maximilian Raoul Steiner) → Austrian-American child-prodigy musician turned three-time Oscar-winning film score composer for over 300 films from the 30s through the 60s, including King Kong (1933), Gone With The Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942) and The Caine Mutiny (1954), died from heart failure on 12/28/1971, age 83.
1899 ● Fred Astaire / (Frederick Austerlitz) → Grammy-winning, renowned film and Broadway stage dancer, actor, vocalist and choreographer, appeared in 31 musical movies, often with dance partner Ginger Rogers, sang multiple, enduring popular songs without a charting single, died of pneumonia on 6/22/1987, age 88
1920 ● Bert Weedon → Virtuoso Brit pop-instrumental guitarist, “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” (UK #10, 1959), published the Play In A Day guitar manual, session work for Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others
1930 ● Scott Muni / (Donald Allen Munoz) → Deep, gravel-voiced AM Top 40, then FM rock DJ and program director for WNEW-fm (New York) during the heyday of free-format, progressive rock radio in the 70s and 80s, died from complications following a stroke on 9/28/2004, age 74
1934 ● Gary Owens / (Gary Altman) → Los Angeles radio DJ, TV announcer and film voice actor best known for his droll, deadpan narration and announcements on the sketch-comedy series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In from 1968 to 1973 , later issued several comedy albums, hosted The Gong Show and various radio programs, died from complications of diabetes on 2/12/2015, age 80
1935 ● Larry Williams → Early R&B/rock & roll guitarist, singer and songwriter, “High School Dance” (#5, R&B #1, 1957), his classic songs have been covered by The Beatles “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” (1965), The Jam and others, died from gunshot wounds in a suspected but unproven suicide on 1/2/1980, age 44
1938 ● Henry Fambrough / (Henry Lee Fambrough) → Original member, baritone and occasional lead vocals for Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, recorded and performed with the group starting in 1954 and was the last original member at retirement in 2023, the group scored “I’ll Be Around” (#3, R&B #1, 1972), “Then Came You” (#1, R&B #2, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s and was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023, died from unspecified causes on 2/7/2024, age 85.
1940 ● Arthur Alexander → Country and soul genre-melding songwriter and singer, “Anna (Go To Him),” #68, R&B #10, 1962) and other songs covered by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and others, wrote and recorded sporadically through the 80s, continued to perform with his own band until his death from a heart attack on 6/9/1993, age 53
1944 ● Jackie Lomax / (John Richard Lomax) → Star-crossed Liverpudlian blue-eyed soul singer and guitarist, friend of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, co-founded and sang lead vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups that never charted on any Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K., first act to be signed to The Beatles‘ Apple Records, received support from Paul McCartney and George Harrison, who wrote his single “Sour Milk Sea” (1970), but he never achieved the expected stardom, played with various bands, toured intermittently and did session work until his death from cancer of 9/15/2013, age 69.
1946 ● Dave Mason / (David Thomas Mason) → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), then solo, “We Just Disagree” (#12, 1977), session work Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie, George Harrison and others
1946 ● Donovan / (Donovan Phillip Leitch) → Brit psych-folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Mellow Yellow” (#2, 1966), once labeled Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan
1946 ● Graham Gouldman → Bubblegum-pop songwriter, wrote hits for Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies and others, then co-founder, guitar and vocals for soft pop/art-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975) and 10 UK Top 30 hits, later formed pop-rock Wax, “Bridge To Your Heart” (UK #12, 1987)
1947 ● Jay Ferguson / (John Arden Ferguson) → Vocals, keyboards and songwriting for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), left and co-founded hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), went solo, “Thunder Island” (#9, 1978), now composes film scores
1949 ● Freddie Porter / (Nolan Frederick Porter) → R&B songwriter and composer with two rock-tinged R&B/soul albums and three modest US chart hits in the 70s (including “Keep On Keeping On,” R&B #39, 1972), but a cult hero in clubs in the north of England during the Northern Soul craze of the time, discontinued recording in the late 70s, married Frank Zappa‘s sister Candy and maintained a presence as a musician and comedian for decades, mostly on the oldies circuit in the UK where he performed for successive generations of new soul fans, died from unspecified causes on 2/4/2021, age 71.
1951 ● Ronald Banks → Vocals for R&B/soul The Dramatics, “In The Rain” (#5, R&B #1, 1972), died of a heart attack on 3/4/2010, age 58
1951 ● Bunny Diamond / (Fitzroy Ogilvie Matthews Simpson) → Co-founding member and vocals in Rastafarian-following, roots reggae Jamaican harmony trio Mighty Diamonds, the group released over 40 studio and live albums from its formation in 1969 and was a major force in driving roots reggae from the streets of Kingston to the international stage in the 70s with the classic reggae hits “Pass the Kouchie” (1981, banned in the UK) and “I Need a Roof” (1976), received the Jamaican national Order of Distinction award along with his groupmates in 2021, suffered from diabetes and was in declining health following a 2015 stroke, died in a Kingston hospital (three days after groupmate Tabby Diamond was killed in a drive-by shooting) on 4/1/2022, age 70.
1952 ● Sly Dunbar / (Lowell Fillmore Dunbar) → Reggae drummer, with session partner Robbie Shakespeare as The Riddim Twins and later Sly & Robbie worked with Peter Tosh, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones and others
1952 ● Lee Brilleaux / (Lee Collinson) → Founding member, lead vocals and harmonica for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), died of cancer on 4/7/1994, age 41
1957 ● Karl Hyde → Vocals and guitar for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1957 ● Sid Vicious / (John Simon Ritchie) → Vocals and bass guitar for renowned and reviled punk-rock The Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), died of a heroin overdose on 2/2/1979, age 21
1960 ● Bono / (Paul Hewson) → Vocalist and guitarist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987) plus five consecutive US #1 albums between 1987 and 1997, poet, peace activist
1962 ● Gary Daley → Vocals and keyboards for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1967 ● Young M.C. / (Marvin Young)) → Pop-rap rhymer and singer, “Bust A Move” (#7, Rap #2, 1989)
1968 ● Richard Patrick → Guitarist for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999), then alt rock/post-grunge supergroup Army of Anyone, “Goodbye” (Mainstream Rock #3, 2006), also worked with Nine Inch Nails
1980 ● Jason Dalyrimple → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1985 ● Ashley Poole → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000)
1991 ● Ray Dalton → Gospel and R&B singer and songwriter best known for his lead vocal contribution to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ 2011 hit song “Can’t Hold Us” (Worldwide #1, 2013)

May 11
1888 ● Irving Berlin / (Israel Isidore Baline) → Siberian-born lyricist, pianist and composer of dozens of enduring pop, stage show and film hits including “White Christmas” (1940), the best selling single of all time, died in his sleep on 9/22/1989, age 91
1905 ● “Kansas” Joe McCoy / (Joseph McCoy) → Delta and Chicago blues slide guitarist and songwriter, recorded often with his younger brother, Charlie, wrote the now-standard jazz-pop “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (1941), his songs have been covered by Led Zeppelin, John Mellencamp and others, died from heart disease on 1/28/1950, age 44
1931 ● Marilyn King → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/7/2013, age 82
1934 ● Bobby Black / (Robert Lee Black) → Pedal steel guitar for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), later played with New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Dolly Parton, the Texas Tornados and many others, released two albums of steel guitar Hawaiian music in the 00s
1935 ● Kit Lambert / (Christopher Lambert) → Assistant film director (The Guns of Navarone and From Russia With Love), record producer, record executive (Track Records, which signed Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon), band manager for The Who until 1971, eccentric but drug-abusing impresario, died from a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a set of stairs at his mother’s house on 4/7/1981, age 45
1936 ● Tony Barrow / (Anthony F. J. Barrow) → Brit journalist and record company publicist, represented The Beatles for Decca Records in 1962 and, until 1968 with Brian Epstein‘s NEMS Enterprises, coining the term “Fab Four”, later formed his own firm and was chief PR man in Europe during the 70s for The Kinks, Bay City Rollers, The Monkees and others, returned to journalism in the punk era, died from natural causes on 5/14/2016, age 80
1938 ● Carla Bley / (Lovella May Borg) → Free Jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader with a 60-year career, her songs have been recorded by many of modern jazz’s top artists from the 60s on, in the 70s co-founded the New Music Distribution Service to promote and support artist-owned independent record labels, wrote all of the songs on the debut solo album, Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports (1981) by the former Pink Floyd drummer, recorded over the years with Gary Burton, Jack Bruce, The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, and many others, all the while fronting her own big band and issuing nearly 30 albums of modern jazz, received the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award in 2015, released a final album, Life Goes On, in 2020 and died from brain cancer on 10/17/2023, age 87.
1938 ● Bruce LanghorneGreenwich Village folk revival guitarist and songwriter, session musician for multiple 60s folk acts but best known for playing with Bob Dylan on several mid-60s albums central to the emergence of electric folk-rock, and as the inspiration for the title character on Dylan‘s “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965), later became a macadamia nut farmer in Hawaii and creator of Brother Bru-Bru’s Hot Sauce, a salsa-style condiment, died of kidney failure on 2/14/2017, age 78.
1941 ● Eric Burdon → Vocals and eventual frontman for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1943 ● Arnie Silver / (Arnie Satin (Silver)) → Baritone vocals for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1943 ● Les Chadwick → Bassist for British Invasion/Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1944 ● Ralph Humphrey → Rock, jazz and fusion drummer, music educator and session player, drummed in The Don Ellis Big Band from 1968 to 1973 and on the soundtrack to the 1971 film The French Connection, toured and recorded with Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention in the mid-70s, did session work for Al Jarreau, Seals & Crofts, the Manhattan Transfer and dozens of others in the 70s to the 90s, co-founded (with Joe Porcaro and others) the Los Angeles Music Academy in 1996, taught percussion at LAMA and performed sessions for television, motion pictures, record albums and jingles until his death from cancer on 4/25/2023, age 78.
1947 ● Butch Trucks / (Claude Hudson Trucks) → Founding member and drummer for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” (#2, 1973), died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on 1/24/2017, age 69
1955 ● J.J. Jeczalik / (Jonathan Jeczalik) → Record producer, sessionman and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1955 ● Mark Herndon → Drummer for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1955 ● Susan Stenger → Bass and vocals for guitar-centric, “noise” rock quartet Band Of Susans, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1988)
1965 ● Avtar Singh → Founding member and bassist for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1966 ● Doom Schneider / (Christoph Schneider) → Drummer for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1983 ● Holly Rachel Vukadinovi?) / (Holly Rachel Vukadinovi?) → Yugoslavian-Australian TV actress and pop singer, “Kiss Kiss” (UK #1, 2002)
1986 ● Kieren Webster → Bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

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